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A truly super-slick performance Kensington Chelsea & Westminster Today on the RCM International Opera School’s autumn production of Mozart’s La finta giardiniera.

La finta giardiniera photos: Chris Christodoulou Front cover: Paul Burns Photography



In our spring issue of Upbeat we are delighted to share with you the success of our Royal Gala at Buckingham Palace in February, hosted by RCM President His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. It was a glorious evening, celebrating the talent of RCM musicians and alumni and helping to support our More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music Campaign. We are immensely grateful to all the individuals, trusts and foundations who have contributed to the More Music Campaign so far. Find out more on page ten. The generosity of our supporters continues to benefit more than half of RCM students. Upbeat spoke to Sabina Fatkullina, who supports student Peter Xie in his aspirations to become a concert pianist through her ArtPoint Foundation. Read the interview on page 12. In this issue we also showcase the exceptional talent of women in music. Turn to page nine to find out about our recent Women in Music festival, groundbreaking research projects and some of our alumnae who are shaping the music scene around the world. You can tell us about your own recent projects and achievements by emailing The deadline for the summer issue of Upbeat is Tuesday 2 May.



The latest news and activities from the Royal College of Music





Upbeat looks at how the RCM is supporting and celebrating women in music



Find out more about our special gala hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales for the More Music Campaign


MUSIC FROM THE SOUL Upbeat interviews RCM supporter Sabina Fatkullina and her scholar, pianist Peter Xie

14 16 18 20 22



Professor Colin Lawson CBE, Director





Upbeat is available to read online at Please help us to reduce our carbon footprint and receive Upbeat by email. Director of Communications Talia Hull Editor Lucy Cook Designer May Yan Man Design Contact




IN THE NEWS Below Lord Black of Brentwood Opposite Left Vocal students perform at Soirée d’Or Photo: Steven Morris Far Right Top Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 Photo: Boy Scout, Karl Ohiri and Riikka Kassinen Far Right Bottom RCMJD students and alumni present Spectrum 5





n historic agreement has been signed with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music (SHCM) to establish a new Joint Institute in China. This will be the first such partnership of any UK music conservatoire. Situated in the Art Deco period Blackstone Apartments on Fuxing Road in Shanghai, the new SHCM and RCM London Joint Institute will offer unrivalled collaborative projects between the two institutions. Over the next three years, the Joint Institute will run a Programme of Talent Education which aims to develop and prepare the most gifted high school students in China for music conservatoire education. Subsequently, joint degrees and diplomas are planned. Shanghai Conservatory students will have opportunities to interact with RCM professors, and RCM students will also take part in joint artistic projects. ‘I’m delighted to announce this new partnership and look forward to developing our relationship with SHCM over the coming years,’ said RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson. ‘It will enable aspiring music students in Shanghai to benefit from the rich musical heritage of the RCM.’

ord Black of Brentwood has been appointed to the position of Chairman of Council, effective from August 2017. Lord Black has been a member of the Royal College of Music’s Council – the governing body responsible for all aspects of the RCM’s strategy and the supervision of its management – since 2009, and takes the Chair as Professor Lord Winston’s tenure comes to an end after ten years. Best known as the Executive Director of the Telegraph Media Group, Lord Black’s career has spanned politics and the media, including as Director of the Press Complaints Commission and Director of Communications for the Conservative Party. Also a lifelong music-lover, Lord Black has a particular passion for the music of Schubert. He is currently Chairman of The Hanover Band and has been a Trustee of the Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians. Since joining the Council of the Royal College of Music, he has made an enormous contribution to the life and work of the RCM and is himself a significant donor to the scholarship programme.

The signing ceremony took place on Thursday 12 January with President Lin Zaiyong welcoming RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson, Deputy Director Kevin Porter and Head of Keyboard Professor Vanessa Latarche to the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

As one of the world’s leading conservatoires, the Royal College of Music is a jewel in the crown of the UK’s artistic and creative life. I am deeply honoured to have been chosen to succeed Professor Lord Winston as Chairman of Council and look forward to continuing to ensure the RCM provides a world-class education for this and future generations. Lord Black of Brentwood Chairman Elect



NEWS IN BRIEF NATIONAL PORTRAIT GALLERY PERFORMANCE FOR TAYLOR WESSING PHOTOGRAPHIC PORTRAIT PRIZE Works by 13 RCM composers, written in response to the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2016, were premiered by RCM musicians at a special concert at the National Portrait Gallery in December. Under the guidance of the RCM Composition Faculty and Creative Careers Centre, the composers were each inspired by a different work featured in this leading international contemporary photographic competition.



he Royal College of Music’s annual fundraising gala Soirée d’Or, which took place at the Victoria and Albert Museum in December, has raised a record-breaking £254,000 for RCM scholarships. This year proved more popular than ever, with 400 tickets selling out in July. Opening with a Taittinger-sponsored reception in the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries, the evening included a three-course dinner interspersed with music performances in the Raphael Gallery. Russian pianist Varvara Tarasova performed music by Kreisler and Chopin and recent graduate soprano Galina Averina joined baritone Julien van Mellaerts to perform pieces by Donizetti, Puccini and Lehár. Following the presentation of a live and silent auction, the RCM Chamber Choir, directed by RCM Artistic Director Stephen Johns, delivered an arrangement of Holst’s In the Bleak Midwinter and the evening closed with choir and guests singing popular carols. RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson introduced the evening and vocal student Rosanna Cooper made a moving appeal speech on the value of scholarships to young dedicated musicians. The RCM is indebted to the Soirée d’Or Committee, led by Lady Carr HonRCM, who work on a voluntary basis to secure table sales, sponsorship and auction prizes for this event. The RCM is also grateful to Finsbury, BAE Systems, The Dorchester, Taittinger and Steinway for their support and to the many guests who donated on the night.

LIBRARY EXHIBITION COMMEMORATING ALBERT MIDGLEY An exhibition to commemorate RCM alumnus Albert Midgley, who died in the First World War, has been curated by RCM Librarian Sarah Batchelor and his former school, Perth Academy. Installed in the Library’s Donaldson Room in November, the exhibition included papers, reports and letters relating to his college career.

JUNIOR DEPARTMENT PIANISTS PREMIERE SPECTRUM 5 Students and alumni of the Royal College of Music Junior Department have premiered Spectrum 5, the latest anthology of contemporary solo music in ABRSM’s acclaimed series. Compiled by RCM professor Thalia Myers, the book includes 15 specially commissioned works by leading composers.

PERFORMANCE SCIENCE STUDY The Centre for Performance Science continues to investigate the effects of singing on health and wellbeing in those affected by cancer. To participate or find out more, email katey.warran@rcm. or call 07399 528 611.





T Below Alan Alda visits the RCM Opposite RCM singers at Aldeburgh Photo: Chris Christodoulou

he Royal College of Music has been awarded two major grants by the Higher Education Funding Council of England (HEFCE) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). HEFCE’s award of £44,412 will fund development of the RCM’s digital platforms for remote teaching, enabling students and professors to share work outside of physical teaching spaces and give and receive feedback in between lessons. As well as enhancing the RCM’s teaching offer to students, the development of web-based materials specifically in the field of one-to-one instrumental and vocal education, will help promote peer-learning and knowledge exchange across the RCM and beyond. The AHRC award of £45,000 will support a research partnership between the Royal College of Music and York St John University. It will establish a global network of scholars and music educators who, through debate, dialogue and research practices, will critique the meaning of ‘inclusive’ and ‘excellent’ in the field of community music. The project will bring together a wide range of practitioners and researchers, culminating in a major open conference that will launch the Music and Social Intervention Network into the wider research community.





enowned actor, writer, director, and presenter Alan Alda visited the Centre for Performance Science at the Royal College of Music in November. The visit was part of his ongoing mission to support the communication of scientific research to a wider audience. Best known for his roles as Captain Hawkeye Pierce in M*A*S*H, Arnold Vinick in The West Wing and numerous film roles, Mr Alda is an enthusiastic supporter of science. Professor Aaron Williamon, Head of the Centre for Performance Science, introduced Mr Alda to the RCM’s Performance Simulator, which trains musicians for performance and auditions in front of a simulated audience or audition panel. RCM researchers are using the Performance Simulator to analyse the physical effects of performance. Mr Alda was accompanied by his wife Arlene – a photographer, author and former clarinettist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra under the baton of RCM alumnus Leopold Stokowski. The RCM’s Director of Finance & Estates Marcus McDonald presented Mrs Alda with a facsimile of the autograph score for Stokowski’s orchestration of Debussy’s Clair de Lune, which was donated to the RCM by the Stokowski Society in 2009.



cclaimed soprano Janis Kelly has been appointed to a Personal Chair of Vocal Performance at the Royal College of Music. She joined the RCM’s Vocal Faculty in 2008, working with students across the College’s range of programmes and nurturing singers of all voice types including recent graduates Sarah-Jane Brandon, Filipa Van Eck and Soraya Mafi. She has also been a principal artist with English National Opera for over 36 years and has appeared at all other major British opera houses, with principal roles across the world. At the Royal College of Music Janis has directed opera scenes, led stagecraft classes and performed with College ensembles and on stage in RCM operas, most recently as Lady Billows in the RCM International Opera School’s 2015 production of Britten’s Albert Herring. In 2017 she will be giving opera performances with Garsington and Glyndebourne opera companies as well as an international series of solo recitals and concerts. Janis Kelly is a prolific recording artist and her activities also encompass research and scholarship, with a focus in the area of ‘Performance, Practices and Sources’.





CM singers visited Snape Maltings, the home of Aldeburgh Music.

Internationally acclaimed counter tenor and RCM professor Lawrence Zazzo presented an open workshop on Handel’s Acis and Galatea with RCM singers and instrumentalists in November. The workshop performance followed a fourday residency at Snape Maltings, during which Lawrence worked with the students in exploring Handel’s preferred, but rarely performed, 1730s three-act serenata version of the work. Soprano Jennifer Coleman said: ‘Working with Lawrence Zazzo has been inspirational; he has a contagious enthusiasm and I particularly enjoyed the coaching he gave me in baroque ornamentation.’ Soprano Rowan Pierce and tenor Joel Williams also appeared at Aldeburgh with professor Caroline Dowdle, giving a recital at RCM alumnus Benjamin Britten’s former home, The Red House. The recital formed part of an exhibition marking the centenary of the late Basil Coleman, the theatre, opera and television director responsible for producing some of Britten’s most important works for the stage. Coleman’s generous bequest to the Royal College of Music supports vocal students and productions staged by the RCM International Opera School.

wo new Mercers’ Arts Awards will be offered annually for the next five years to Royal College of Music students going into their second year of postgraduate study. One prize will be awarded to the student who contributes the largest amount to the community, bringing an awareness and appreciation of music to the widest possible audience. The other prize is awarded to the student who most effectively applies academic and theoretical knowledge to their musical practice within a public context, as exemplified by the creation of new editions, recordings, performance practices or formats. The first recipient of the Community Award is tubist Stephen Calow. Pianist and composer Mateusz Rettner receives the first Academic Award. The Awards were given at a dedicated recital in the Parry Rooms in February.




Below Professor Colin Lawson receives his CBE medal Photo: Jonathan Brady/ PA Wire





The collaboration will see RCM musicians curate a series of concerts at the RA over the next year. Under the series title In Tune with… each performance will feature RCM musicians taking inspiration from the ideas, themes and artworks featured in the special exhibitions.

The SU celebrated its diverse student body from more than 60 countries during International Week in November. Students were invited to join in with Latin dancing, samba drumming and Kung Fu workshops, take part in a discussion on Brexit, and enjoy food and drink from around the world in events including a Bavarian Night, a pop-up Korean street food stand and a Thanksgiving Lunch. As well as this, three principal members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe worked with musicians in a series of masterclasses and performed Mendelssohn’s Symphony no 5 with the RCM Chamber Orchestra.

he Royal College of Music and the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) are delighted to announce a new creative partnership.

The inaugural event took place in December, as part of the Abstract Expressionism exhibition. Featuring alumni saxophone ensemble the Laefer Quartet and professor Kyle Horch, the concert included the premiere of a work by RCM composer Andrew Chen. In 2017, future events will explore RA exhibitions including Revolution: Russian Art 1917–1932 and America after the Fall: Painting in the 1930s.

he RCM Students’ Union has organised two successful weeks of events – RAG Week and the very first RCM International Week.

RAG Week took place in January with events including a jazz jam and raffle, the Great RCM Bake Off and Bake Sale, a pub quiz and a 90s-themed party with giant sumo wrestling. These activities plus donations from a production of Handel’s Theodora raised more than £700 for Multiple System Atrophy Trust, the SU’s charity.

RCM DIRECTOR PROFESSOR COLIN LAWSON RECEIVES CBE MEDAL Professor Colin Lawson was presented with his Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) medal by HRH The Prince of Wales at an Investiture ceremony at Buckingham Palace in February. It follows his appointment of CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2016 for his services to music and music education across his illustrious career. A clarinettist of international renown and a pioneer of historically informed performance, Professor Colin Lawson recently celebrated ten years as Director of the Royal College of Music. During this time he has maintained the RCM as a world-leading conservatoire and shaped the College’s vision for the future, ensuring it continues to provide the most exceptional musical education for generations of talented students. Professor Lawson spoke about his CBE in a recent interview with Lark Insurance Private Clients Director Julie Webb, which is available to read online at




WOMEN IN MUSIC Upbeat reflects on how the Royal College of Music is playing its part in promoting women in music.

Women in Music Festival

Projects at the RCM

The works of Fanny Hensel, née Mendelssohn, the sister of the more famous Felix, are often less familiar to audiences. So the recent discovery by Dr Angela Mace Christian that the Ostersonate (Easter Sonata), which had mistakenly been attributed to Felix, was in fact by Fanny has proved an exciting addition to the canon of female works.

Alongside the success of the festivals, the RCM is developing a new module which will give postgraduate students (both male and female) the opportunity to work with a female mentor – this could be an orchestra member, an agent or promoter, an orchestral manager or a figure in music education – in the student’s chosen area of interest.

To play our part in promoting this rediscovered work, RCM alumna Sofya Gulyak (the first female winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition) gave the UK premiere at the RCM’s annual Women in Music festival in March, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. The festival was organised by the RCM Creative Careers Centre and RCM Student Services to promote the College’s strengths in both career development and equality. Other events throughout the day included a masterclass with Sofya Gulyak, a performance by Parallax saxophone quartet and an evening concert presenting works for guitar by female RCM composers. It followed a hugely successful festival in 2016 which included a focus on women and the saxophone.

‘We are very excited to offer this new postgraduate module at the RCM,’ says Dr Natasha Loges, Head of Postgraduate Programmes. ‘It will give students an in-depth understanding of the experiences of women within the cultural sector and a greater awareness of the contribution of women to music in history, alongside an introduction to current thinking on gender issues and discrimination and ways to make positive changes.’ Researchers at the RCM are also looking into health and wellbeing issues which affect women in a bid to use music to support women in the wider community. One such project is Music and Motherhood, which investigates the effectiveness of creative interventions as a psychosocial tool to reduce the occurrence and effects of post-natal depression.

Sofya Gulyak

BBC RADIO 3 Listen again to the BBC Radio 3 broadcast from International Women’s Day on 8 March at

RCM alumnae Today the RCM is prouder than ever of its talented roster of female graduates, from Dame Joan Sutherland and Amaryllis Fleming to Alina Ibragimova, Sarah Connolly and Anna Meredith, to name a few. The Albany Trio, who strive to promote female composers and performed at last year’s Women in Music festival with the world premiere of Judith Bingham’s The Orchid and its Hunters, are currently focusing on producing their first CD and hope to feature this work on the disc. As well as this, composer Hannah Kendall led a BBC Proms Inspire project with young female composers for International Women’s Day, culminating in a live performance broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune. Hannah Kendall

Fanny Mendelssohn




ROYAL GALA AT BUCKINGHAM PALACE On Monday 6 February, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales hosted a special gala concert at Buckingham Palace to celebrate talented musicians from the Royal College of Music, and support the RCM’s biggest-ever fundraising campaign, More Music: Reimagining the Royal of College of Music. Watch the rehearsal of Ein Ständchen on the Classic FM website at Read HRH The Prince of Wales’ full speech at www.princeofwales.


axim Vengerov, Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin, was joined by alumnus conductor John Wilson, current student violinist Emily Sun and a selection of vocal students, who performed with the RCM Symphony Orchestra. The RCM was also delighted to welcome back recent graduate soprano Louise Alder.

The evening included performances of music by Bach, Parry and Finzi, with Emily Sun performing a movement from Bach’s Concerto for two violins with Maxim Vengerov. Also on the programme was Ein Ständchen, a song written by The Prince of Wales’ great great great grandfather, Prince Albert. The piece was specially orchestrated by RCM composer Richard Miller and received its premiere at the gala. His Royal Highness remarked how proud he was to hear the composition in his speech. It was Prince Albert whose vision led to the establishment of the creative and educative centre in South Kensington, later dubbed ‘Albertopolis’, and as a result the foundation of the Royal College of Music.

Philanthropy is vital to the future of the Royal College of Music and will enable us to deliver an inspirational learning environment for our talented students; they are the future of music. Bob Wigley More Music Campaign Chairman



I am thrilled to hear of the Royal College of Music’s plan to develop its facilities. Nicola Benedetti

More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music Campaign For more than 130 years the Royal College of Music has welcomed, trained and nurtured the musicians of the future. The More Music Campaign represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to radically transform the RCM’s facilities and invest in innovation, enhancing the way students and visitors experience the College for generations to come. The Campaign will support the development of new state-of-the-art facilities within the RCM’s iconic Blomfield Building on Prince Consort Road. Architect John Simpson’s design will make best use of RCM space and ensure its heritage is safeguarded for future generations. The design includes new world-class performance spaces, additional rehearsal rooms and recording facilities,

a modern interactive museum, and many other enhancements such as opening up the entrance hall and allowing step-free access for students and visitors. As well as developing facilities, the More Music Campaign will help to expand the RCM’s scholarship funding and provide more bursaries for talented students. It also aims to widen access to the RCM’s learning and participation programme, RCM Sparks, and promote innovation through new academic appointments and digital resources. Thanks to the Royal Gala and generous gifts from a wide variety of supporters, More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music has already raised 60% of its overall target. To find out more about the RCM’s exciting plans, visit

RICHARD MILLER ON EIN STÄNDCHEN What was your approach to orchestrating Ein Ständchen? In any recorded performances I’ve been able to find, the piece was scored for tenor and piano, though the edition I was working from also had a cello part that I was able to spread around the whole orchestra. The text of the song provided some great opportunities for word painting – the end of the third verse for instance, where I brought the ‘lyre’ and ‘singing bird’ into the orchestra, a brief duo for harp and oboe (the latter having a ‘tweeting’ phrase).

Opposite HRH The Prince of Wales meets Louise Alder and John Wilson Above Maxim Vengerov (Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin) performs at the gala HRH The Prince of Wales meets RCM students Photos: Paul Burns Photography

Did you have support from your professors? I was very fortunate to have Head of Composition William Mival coaching me. As well as a very interesting job, it became a great learning opportunity. HRH The Prince of Wales mentioned how proud he was to hear the piece so well orchestrated in his speech – how did that make you feel? I was a little surprised, though of course delighted that he singled the piece out in his speech. He’s someone who clearly has a keen and broad interest in music, so I’m very happy to know that he enjoyed hearing his great great great grandfather’s piece in a new light.




MUSIC FROM THE SOUL: SUPPORTING THE FUTURE OF MUSIC Below Sabina Fatkullina and Peter Xie Opposite Peter Xie

The RCM is proud of its strong commitment to the provision of scholarships, and more than 55% of students currently receive some financial support. Thanks to the generosity of individuals such as Sabina Fatkullina, who supports scholarships at the RCM through her ArtPoint Foundation, first-year undergraduate student Peter Xie is able to study at the RCM.

Sabina, could you tell us a little bit about the ArtPoint Foundation?

How did you find out about the Royal College of Music?

SF: The ArtPoint Foundation was founded in June 2016 so it is still very young. A friend of mine, Russian violinist Dmitri Kogan, had recently supported a young pianist participating in one of his concerts and this gave me inspiration to start the foundation with Helene Benhamou. There are very few people in this world who are blessed with musical talent, and whether helping through scholarships, concerts or auditions, I could see that this is what I wanted to do with my foundation and support students like Peter.

SF: I was invited to a concert with a string quartet here a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed it. I was able to see that the College is a real foundation for future musicians. As one of the best music education institutions in the world, for me it is such a privilege to be a supporter. I recently came to an Opera Scenes performance in the Britten Theatre, and the students were superb. I’m quite traditional and enjoy composers like Verdi, so to hear something by Britten instead was a revelation. Through being a supporter I am learning a lot about classical music. So have you always been passionate about music and the arts? SF: I was born in Moscow, and opera, ballet, books and education were very important to my family. From the age of about 7 or 8 I was a regular visitor to the Moscow Conservatory, so I learned from a young age that classical music is something you can never be tired of, even music that is now 400 years old. I’m not very musically talented and I don’t play, but I still enjoy it very much. Peter, why did you want to study at the RCM? PX: Good question! I came to the UK from China six years ago, to study at Wells Cathedral School with John Byrne. He is also a professor at the RCM, and encouraged me to study here. London is such a great musical environment and offers so many opportunities.



What do you enjoy the most about studying here? PX: All of my professors are incredibly kind and supportive. But I think the thing I enjoy most is talking to my friends. They are all very talented pianists, and when I talk to them I can learn so much.

There are only a few people in this world who are blessed with musical talent…I could see that this is what I wanted to do with my foundation and support students like Peter.

Sabina, do you have any advice for someone thinking of supporting the College?

Sabina Fatkullina Royal College of Music supporter

SF: Supporting is an entirely personal thing, and I find that being generous is not about how much you can give, but what you can do with what you give. I wouldn’t want to give any advice, but I would say that if you are looking for a place where you can be sure that your contribution will meet its goal, then it is definitely the Royal College of Music. My foundation will continue to support the College for as long as we can. How would you like your foundation to develop in the future? SF: I don’t really like to plan ahead. What’s going to happen in five years’ time? I would love for ArtPoint to become an international foundation that can help everyone, but I just don’t know. For the moment, I prefer to know that I’m helping and doing good things today. I believe that classical music is something that can help people, it is beyond politics, religious beliefs, age, gender or occupation. ArtPoint recently organised an event at Ten Trinity Square in London, and some of my friends and business associates who attended had never experienced a classical music concert before. Afterwards, I could see their faces had changed. If at least five people can tell me after an event that I have changed their perception of classical music, and opened another world for them, then I’m happy and it means my goal is achieved. Peter, what does your scholarship mean for you? PX: It means a lot to me! As an international student, without my scholarship I wouldn’t be able to study here, so I am extremely grateful and am now able to focus on reaching my lifetime ambition of becoming a concert pianist.

Sabina, what events are you planning this year? SF: The ArtPoint Foundation is supporting a public violin masterclass with Dmitri Kogan here at the RCM this year. Also this spring we have an event at the Science Museum celebrating the 80th birthday of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to go into space, for which we have commissioned a film with the Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. Finally, we are working with the RCM on organising an event in June with Beares the violin dealer, which will celebrate the journey of the Stradivarius violin.

FIND OUT MORE For more information on supporting scholarships at the RCM please visit scholarships or contact Emma McCormack, Scholarships Manager on 0207 591 4862 or rcmscholarships@rcm.

Peter, what are your career aspirations for the future? PX: I’m really determined to be a concert pianist. I just need to keep working hard so I can achieve my goal. Sabina, what is the best thing about supporting the RCM?

London is such a great musical environment and offers so many opportunities. Peter Xie First-year undergraduate student

SF: In Russia we use the word ‘soul’ for everything, we wouldn’t say something ‘comes from the heart’ but ‘comes from the depths of my soul’. The heart beats, but the soul is something very spiritual. I recently attended a Rachmaninov concert here at the RCM, and the students in this performance were so excited to perform and were so passionate, the music came from their soul. It was really special.




SUPPORTING THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF MUSIC Music has the power to transform lives. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, generations of gifted students from around the world have been nurtured and trained at the RCM. We would like to thank in particular our More Music Founding Patrons and Leadership Supporters, as well as those who have made donations of £5,000 or more in the last 12 months. Gifts are listed alphabetically in order of surname.

SUPPORTING THE FUTURE OF MUSIC From becoming an RCM Friend, through to leaving a gift in your will, there are many ways you can support the Royal College of Music.

The Estate of George Frederick Burgan The Estate of Basil Coleman Heritage Lottery Fund The Estate of Christopher Hogwood CBE HonDMus Kingdom Music Education Group The Estate of Neville Wathen

For more information, please visit supportus

Leadership Supporters

Alternatively, contact the Development team on 020 7591 4331 or


More Music Founding Patrons


ABRSM The Derek Butler Trust The Estate of John & Marjorie Coultate The Foyle Foundation The Future of Russia Foundation The Garfield Weston Foundation The Leverhulme Trust Linda Hill HonRCM & Dr Tony Hill The Mirfield Trust The Estate of Michael Rimmer The Estate of Emma Rose Soirée d’Or

Major Supporters


Jane Barker CBE Laurie Barry Philip Carne MBE HonRCM & Christine Carne In memory of Lady Chelmsford Meredith & Denis Coleman Peter & Annette Dart Gisela Gledhill H R Taylor Trust The Harbour Foundation The Headley Trust HEFCE Help Musicians UK John Lewis Partnership Kirby Laing Foundation Philip Loubser Foundation Sir Charles & Lady Mackerras The Estate of William Mealings Rosemary Millar HonRCM & Richard Millar The Countess of Munster Musical Trust John Nickson & Simon Rew The Polonsky Foundation PRS for Music Foundation The Reed Foundation & The Big Give Christmas Challenge Geoffrey Richards HonRCM & Valerie Richards Sir Simon & Lady Robertson The Estate of Barry Shaw Dasha Shenkman OBE HonRCM Alethea Siow & Jeremy Furniss The Peter Sowerby Foundation Dr Michael & Ruth West HonRCM Bob & Sarah Wigley The Wolfson Foundation The Worshipful Company of Musicians

Dr Kamal Ahuja & Anna Gustafson ArtPoint Foundation Dr Linda Beeley Kathleen Beryl Sleigh Charitable Trust Blenheim Music Circle The Boltini Trust Bowerman Charitable Trust Sir Roger & Lady Carr HonRCM Dhairya & Karina Choudhrie The Drapers’ Company The Gilbert & Eileen Edgar Foundation Sir Vernon Ellis FRCM & Lady Ellis Lesley Ferguson Fishmongers’ Company Fiona & Douglas Flint Finsbury Dr Chris Gibson-Smith Elaine Greenberg & Linda Perez Andrew Haigh Helen Chung-Halpern & Abel Halpern The Hobson Charity Sir George Iacobescu CBE & Lady Iacobescu Independent Opera at Sadler’s Wells JMC The Kathleen Trust Ruth Keattch The Estate of Michael Kennedy CBE The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation UK The Honourable Society of the Knights of the Round Table Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM Lee Abbey London

BECOME AN RCM FRIEND Join the Royal College of Music as a Friend today and you can enjoy a range of attractive benefits including: • Priority booking for RCM concerts and events • Access to an exclusive programme of RCM Friends events • Copies of the RCM termly Events Guide and Upbeat magazine delivered to your door Membership starts from just £40 per year. To become a Friend, or for more information about the RCM Friends programme, please contact Rachel Bowden, Friends and Patrons Officer on 020 7591 4331 or email

Carol & Geoff Lindey Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust The Hon Richard Lyttelton & Romilly Lyttelton The Mercers’ Company The Metherell family The Estate of Philippa Micklethwait The Howard & Abby Milstein Foundation Music Talks Pro Musica Ltd The Estate of Billy Newman Midori Nishiura HonRCM Opperby Stokowski Collection Trust P F Charitable Trust The Charles Peel Charitable Trust The Stanley Picker Charitable Trust Rev Lyndon van de Pump FRCM & Edward Brooks FRCM Andrew Ratcliffe Victoria Robey OBE Professor Luigi & Elisabetta de Simone Niquesa South Square Trust St Paul’s, Knightsbridge Steinway & Sons Ian Stoutzker CBE FRCM Tait Memorial Trust Ian & Meriel Tegner Edmund Truell & Cédriane de Boucaud Universal Music Group The Wall Trust Sir Peter & Lady Walters Josef Weinberger Ltd Anthony Weldon FRCM & Jane Weldon The Mills Williams Foundation

The Estate of Sir David Willcocks CBE FRCM Jane Wilson Professor Lord Winston & Lady Winston

CIRCLES FOR EXCELLENCE MEMBERS Chairman’s Circle Brian & Janice Capstick Philip Carne MBE HonRCM & Christine Carne Helen Chung-Halpern & Abel Halpern Guy Dawson & Samantha Horscroft Gisela Gledhill Linda Hill HonRCM & Dr Tony Hill Terry Hitchcock HSH Dr Prince Donatus von Hohenzollern David James Clare & James Kirkman Lark Insurance Dr Mark Levesley & Christina Hoseason Victoria Robey OBE Roland Saam Dasha Shenkman OBE HonRCM Alethea Siow & Jeremy Furniss Dr Michael & Ruth West HonRCM Quentin & Sarah Williams

Director’s Circle James & Margaret Lancaster Sir Peter & Lady Middleton FRCM John Nickson & Simon Rew Richard Price FRCM & Sue Price Russell Race Peter & Dimity Spiller Robert & Betty Sutherland Anne & Brian Wadsworth

Patrons’ Circle Isla Baring OAM Jane Barker CBE John & Halina Bennett Lady Bergman Sylvia Bettermann Nathenson Lorraine Buckland Tania Chislett Sir Anthony Cleaver FRCM & Lady Cleaver Elisabeth de Kergorlay Dr Ian & Janet Edmondson Michael Estorick Sabina Fatkullina Professor Alice Gast Marie Noelle & Mathias Gislev Lily & Julian Harriss Greta Hemus John & Susan Heywood William & AnnaMarie Hill David & Sue Lewis Charles & Dominique Lubar David Mildon Ellen Moloney Judy & Terence Mowschenson Jennifer Neelands Susan Pudifoot-Stephens Kara Radcliffe Victoria Rock Kerry & Dimity Rubie Piffa Schroder Sir Richard & Lady Sykes Louisa Treger Rhoddy Voremberg John Ward Jane Wilson Sir Robert & Lady Wilson Dr Yvonne Winkler




STUDENT UPDATES Right Piyawat Louilarpprasert Photo: Phil Rowley Below Vocal students perform at Downing Street Photo: Amy Cooke

VOCAL ACCOLADES Singers Christian Adolph, Dafydd Allen, Dominic Bevan, Louise Fuller, James Holt, Edward Jowle, April Koyejo and Davidona Pittock were invited to sing at a special children’s Christmas party at number 11 Downing Street in December, hosted by Starlight Children’s Charity and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP… Mezzo soprano Katie Coventry has won the intercollegiate Joaninha Trust Award of £6,000. She has also joined the 2016/17 ENO Harewood Artists programme, and made her English National Opera debut in The Pirates of Penzance in February with alumni Soraya Mafi and David Webb.

Richard Miller has won the second annual Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s Christopher Brooks Composition Prize. It offers a bespoke programme of workshops, masterclasses and mentoring sessions from resident and visiting musicians, conductors, composers, performers and other industry professionals… Karim Younis has won Second Prize at the ‘Music and Cinema’ Lavagnino Competition 2016 in Alessandria, Italy. His work was performed by the Orchestra Classica di Alessandria during the awards ceremony.

COMPOSITION CONGRATULATIONS Daniel Lee Chappell’s ballet-opera Liturgie was performed by Spectra Ensemble at By Other Means Gallery in December. Daniel’s instrumental work Corrugated Light was also premiered by Tim Lines and the RCM New Perspectives ensemble, as part of the RCM’s Tribute to Pierre Boulez concert in October… Piyawat Louilarpprasert has been selected as Composer in Residence for KulturKontakt Austria in 2017...

DOCTORAL ACTIVITIES Performance Science student Sara Ascenso has presented the results of a research project at Wigmore Hall and will be delivering a series of workshops on wellbeing linked with this project in 2017… Pianist Konstantinos Destounis has toured North-East England with eight piano solo recitals in six days. He also performed Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no 2 in December at Auditorio Victor Villegas, Murcia, with the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Región de Murcia, conducted by Gonzalo Berná Pic… A new work by Raquel García-Tomás, Office for Post-Identical Living, has been premiered at the GREC Festival in Barcelona and by Neuköllner Oper in Berlin… Counter tenor Randall Scotting has been invited for a formal residency in performance at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand… Research Associate and Performance Science student George Waddell has recently co-authored a chapter on gamesbased learning of musical instruments, published in the Proceedings of the 10th European Conference on Games Based Learning.



STRING SUCCESSES Cellist Timothée Botbol has won the Grand Special Prize at the II Agustín Aponte International Music Competition held in the Agumarina Golf Hotel Auditorium in San Miguel de Abona, Tenerife… Cellist Carola Krebs was featured on the front cover of the February edition of Classical Music Magazine. Currently studying for an Artist Diploma in Performance at the RCM, Carola is also a cellist in Southbank Sinfonia 2017… Cellist Jobine Siekman was awarded Third Prize in the National Cello Competition at the Cello Biënnale Amsterdam 2016 in October, performing Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto no 1 with the Symphony Orchestra of the Conservatory of Amsterdam.

KEYBOARD ACCOMPLISHMENTS Sten Heinoja has received a Young Promising Musician of the Year 2016 Award by the Estonian National Culture Foundation, which is supported by the Estonian Government… Hyun Jung Won has won First Prize in the 15th Don Vincenzo Vitti International Music Competition, held in Italy in December.

RCMJD RESULTS RCM Junior Department musicians Natasha Barton, Eugenie Dalgleish, Tess Jackson and Shimmy Osindero have performed in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales at a special ceremony at Sandringham Royal Estate. The string quartet performed background music during the Medals Ceremony for Norfolk Constabulary, which took place in December to honour the long service of officers, staff and members of the Special Constabulary. The ensemble is tutored by JD teacher Leandro Silvera... Oboist Thomas Hammond has won First Prize in the Farnborough Sixth Form College Concerto Competition, playing Martinů’s Oboe Concerto… Composer and recorder player Alexia Sloane has been awarded the title Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2016/17, and is the first female composer to receive the honour in its ten-year history.

NYO SUCCESS FOR RCMJD MUSICIANS A total of 22 RCM Junior Department musicians have successfully auditioned for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, including the orchestra’s new leader. The talented young musicians are: violinists Elodie Chousmer-Howelles (leader), Louisa Ayerst, Leora Cohen, Isabella Fulford, Katalin Oldland, William Rose, Alexander Semple, and Jeremy Weinstein, violists Uma Baron, Nadia Soole Sanchez, and Luca Wadham, cellist Daniel Brandon, harp player Eleanor Medcalf, flautist Marie Sato, clarinettists James Garagnon and Owen Saldanha, bassoonists Lucy Dundas and Julia Flint, horn player Lucy Howard, trombonist Sam Gale, and composers Lauren Marshall and Alexia Sloane. This success continues the legacy of RCMJD students taking up prestigious positions in the NYO, with RCMJD alumnae Stephanie Childress and Athena Hawksley-Walker appointed leader and co-leader respectively in recent years.

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Top Left Jobine Siekman Photo: Ronald Knapp Top Right Daniel Lee Chappell’s Liturgie performed by Spectra Ensemble Photo: Banziris




STAFF UPDATES Conductor and Opera Coach Natalie Murray Beale conducts John Adams’ opera-oratorio The Gospel According to the Other Mary at Theater Bonn in spring 2017. She is working alongside acclaimed director and librettist Peter Sellars and the Beethoven Orchester Bonn. Assistant Head of Undergraduate Programmes, Dr Anastasia Belina-Johnson, gave a Q&A following a screening of Rebel of the Keys which charts the life and times of pianist and composer André Tchaikowsky, in Bangor in November. Violin professor Natasha Boyarsky celebrated 50 years of teaching in 2016. The Yehudi Menuhin School, where she has taught since 1996, gave a celebratory concert with RCM alumna Alina Ibragimova, Nicola Benedetti and current and former students of the school. Vocal professors Veronica Veysey Campbell and Liza Hobbs have published a new collection of songs with Edition Peters, entitled Everlasting Voices. The book is aimed at older singers but has also proved immensely useful for young developing voices due to the modest range of the songs. RCM Junior Department flute teacher Andrea Charles passed her FRSM last year, which involved a 50-minute recital, a study test and viva voce. RCM Junior Department conducting teacher Jacques Cohen has worked with several orchestras in Eastern Europe, including Kremerata Baltica who have toured his arrangement of Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. He has also completed a new commission for the Piatti Quartet and is writing a new piece for Dame Evelyn Glennie.

Piano professor Norma Fisher was on the jury of the 2016 San Marino International Piano Competition in September, and will be on the Jury of the 11th Horowitz International Piano Competition in Kiev in April 2017. An article, Norma Fisher in Conversation with Murray McLachlan, was also published in the Piano Journal (EPTA Magazine) in December. Jazz violin and viola professor Christian Garrick is a member of Tango Alakulo, which combines art genres from music and dance to acting and design. They toured Finland in January in association with the Sibelius Academy and Finnish Cultural Institute. Bassoon professor Martin Gatt, clarinet alumnus Colin Parr and piano alumna Margaret Lynn have released a CD – Beethoven, Glinka, Reinecke: Trios for Wind and Piano – which is available to purchase from MRC Classical. The Jacquin Trio, formed of RCMJD clarinet teacher Jessie Grimes, piano alumna Charis Hanning and violist Kay Stephen, have commissioned awardwinning composition alumna Charlotte Bray. Homage to Macro Stoppra will be premiered at St John’s Smith Square in April 2017. RCMJD Projects Development Officer Alice Harper, a Trustee of Somerset-based music charity Churchill Music! won Arts Council funding to make a film about the importance of music in primary schools. It was was premiered at the Music Education Expo in February. Vasco Hexel, Area Leader in Composition for Screen, has released a folk-fusion album Wanderlust. The six-track disc features classical Indian singer Arushi Chopra. Head of Keyboard Professor Vanessa Latarche gave a piano masterclass at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, the RCM’s partner institution in Singapore, in January.



Left Billy Budd (2016) at Opera North Photo: Clive Barda Below Vasco Hexel’s new album, Wanderlust Opposite Top Simon Lepper Opposite Bottom The Jacquin Trio

RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson received an honorary professorship at Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing in November. He joins the likes of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniel Barenboim as Honorary Professors. Piano professor Simon Lepper and alumna Kitty Whately will release a CD of Jonathan Dove songs in May 2017 on the Champs Hill Label, in association with BBC Radio 3. Head of Strings Mark Messenger is running the 2017 London Marathon. He will be raising money for two charities, the Royal College of Music and Music in Hospitals, whose mission is to improve the quality of life for adults and children with all kinds of illness and disability through live music. If you would like to donate, please visit markmessengermarathon Violin professor Madeleine Mitchell performed a concerto written for her by Guto Puw, Soft Stillness, with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales at the Vale of Glamorgan Festival 2016, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 3. She has also given a workshop with young violinists in Dubai, performing Michael Nyman’s Taking it as Read, followed by a benefit concert for Child’s Play India Foundation.

Vocal professor Peter Savidge sang the role of Mr Redburn in the winter production of Opera North’s Billy Budd, directed by Orpha Phelan and conducted by Garry Walker. The cast included Roderick Williams, Alastair Miles and Alan Oke with RCM alumni Ross McInroy, James Davies and Sam Oram.

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Conducting professor Peter Stark has worked with the Zhejiang Conservatory of Music Orchestra in Hangzhou, China. Another visit is planned for 2017, along with masterclasses for conductors. Head of the Centre for Performance Science Aaron Williamon was on the panel for the Young Classical Artists Trust’s Sounding Board event in January. He discussed issues around physical and mental wellbeing for those working in performance. Harpsichord professor Robert Woolley judged the 8th Principe Francesco Maria Ruspoli International Competition in October, as the harpsichord was the subject of the competition in 2016.

RCM Junior Department piano teacher Clara Rodriguez has appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters and In Tune programmes, celebrating the centenary of Argentinean composer Alberto Ginastera. Director of Opera Michael Rosewell conducted English Touring Opera’s Don Giovanni in spring 2016. The production won the 2017 What’s on Stage Opera Poll for Best New Opera Production and was described as ‘a perceptive and probing account’.




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CONNECT Connect with fellow RCM alumni in our LinkedIn group or contact the Alumni Relations teams on or 020 7591 4353.

Philip Ashworth has been selected as a composer for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s RSNO Composers’ Hub for the 2016/17 season. This is the second annual initiative to develop the talents of individuals in the early stages of their careers. Laura Attridge and Lewis Murphy have been announced as the winners of Scottish Opera’s Opera Sparks 2018 competition. The scheme gives young people who are Scottish or based in Scotland an opportunity to compose a new opera. It will be performed by Scottish Opera’s youth company, Connect, in 2018. A celebration of composer Francis Baines will be held at Cadogan Hall on 11 April 2017 at 7pm, where a star-studded cast pays tribute in words and music. Remembered best for his charismatic playing of the double-bass and the treble viol, he also played the hurdy-gurdy, pipe and tabor, bagpipes, rebec, shawm, psalter and pipe organ. Violinist Benjamin Baker has won First Prize at the 2016 Young Concert Artists final auditions, held at New York’s Merkin Concert Hall in November. Violinist Benjamin Bergmann has published Fit in 15 Minutes – a book containing warm-ups and essential exercises for violin – with Schott Verlag Mainz. It’s intended for occasional players who are short of time and want to maintain and improve their violin technique, and can also be used at the beginning of a longer practice or rehearsal session.

Mark Bowen has won a 2016 British Composer Award in the Solo or Duo category with his work Five Memos. Anna Meredith was also shortlisted with Smatter Hauler in the Orchestra category. Konstantin Boyarsky has composed music for a new opera The Poet and the King, premiered at Kolobov New Opera during the Epiphany Festival in February. The libretto was written by Marita Phillips, a relative of Alexander Pushkin, who is the opera’s protagonist. Ruth Chan has composed the music for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Snow in Midsummer by Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig, based on the classical Chinese drama by Guan Hanqing. It runs until 25 March 2017 at the Swan Theatre. Tenor Robyn Lyn Evans has released his second album, Ah! mes amis. The album intends to reflect his career so far, with challenging lyric tenor repertoire interspersed with more familiar favourites. A concert celebrating the 80th birthday of composer Erika Fox takes place at Burgh House, Hampstead in March 2017. The programme includes four of Erika’s works, performed by contemporary music group Sounds Positive, directed by alumni Avril Anderson and David Sutton-Anderson. Violinist and songwriter Isaac Fox has been signed to a publishing company in Nashville, America, as an artist and songwriter. The deal is a joint venture between MusInk and the recently launched Rezonant Music Group. The world premiere of Fanfare by Helen Grime will open the London Symphony Orchestra’s 2017/18 season at the Barbican Centre in September 2017. The LSO also premiered composition professor Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Remembering, written in memory of Evan Scofield, in January. Soprano Pia Harris will perform the role of Yvette in Opera Holland Park’s production of Puccini’s La Rondine in June 2017, with the City of London Sinfonia and Opera Holland Park Chorus. Pianist Joseph Houston and violist Richard Jones (a member of Ligeti Quartet) have been selected as 2016 City Music Foundation Artists. They will engage in an innovative two-year programme which includes artistic and business mentoring as well as professional development workshops. Neil Jenkins has curated an exhibition at Handel House in Mayfair which explores the extraordinary life of the celebrated tenor, John Beard – Handel’s ‘tenor of choice’.



Min Kym’s memoir Gone will be published in April 2017 by Penguin. It follows the story of her life as a child prodigy, finding the perfect violin, and having to deal with its theft at a train station. Nicola LeFanu’s new work The Crimson Bird was premiered at the Barbican Centre in February by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ilan Volkov and featuring alumna soprano Rachel Nicholls. Commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society after being awarded the Elgar Bursary in 2014, this is Nicola’s first full-scale orchestral work for three decades. David Nettle and his piano duo partner Richard Markham have given the world premiere of their new arrangement of Mendelssohn’s Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in E major with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra. In forthcoming seasons, by way of celebrating 40 years of performance on the concert stage, they also plan to record the complete four-handed works of both Schumann and Saint-Saëns. Pianist Luka Okros won First Prize and the Gold Medal at the finals of the 2016 Hong Kong International Piano Competition in October. His prize includes a recording contract and concert opportunities in festivals worldwide. Hin-Yat Tsang won Fourth Prize in the same competition. Tenor Nick Pritchard has won the 2017 What’s on Stage Opera Poll in the Breakthrough Artist in UK Opera category. According to the poll he ‘shone like a beacon’ during English Touring Opera’s autumn tour of baroque masterpieces. Gabriele Roberto has recently arranged and orchestrated a new version of Con te partirò (Time to say goodbye) for tenor Andrea Bocelli, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the song. It was performed and recorded by the Budapest Art Orchestra under Péter Pejtsik last year. Composer Susannah Self has conducted her opera The Butt at the Musictheatertage Fesival in Vienna. The ensemble also included RCM cellist Joe Davies. She is now based at Birmingham Conservatoire where she has been awarded a STEAM scholarship to read for a PhD in composition. Soprano Angela Simkin made her Royal Opera House debut in January as Annina in Der Rosenkavalier. Angela is a current member of the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme at the ROH together with alumnus Simon Shibambu. Soprano Gemma Summerfield performed with Classical Opera at Wigmore Hall as part of their Mozart 250 series in January. The concert, entitled 1767 – A Retrospective featured works from that year by Haydn, Gluck, Abel, Gassmann and Mozart, and was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Violinist Aisha Syed has released her debut album, Martinaitis: Violin Concerto No. 2 – White, Cerón, Villa-Lobos and Solano. She recorded Martinaitis’ Violin Concerto no 2 on the 1690 ‘Stephens’ Stradivarius violin at the National Philharmonic Hall in Vilnius with the Lietuvos Kamerinis Orkestras. Wallace Woodley is entering his 50th year as organist and choir director at Durham Street Methodist Church in Christchurch, New Zealand. He has just released a CD, More Life with the Piano, of solo piano pieces that his pupils have enjoyed studying and playing over the past 66 years. The profits from sales will augment the church’s redevelopment fund.

Above Gemma Summerfield Photo: Arno Photography Below Cyrill Ibrahim Photo: Mariana Santiago Opposite Top Robyn Lyn Evans’ new album, Ah! mes amis Opposite Bottom Ligeti Quartet Photo: Mike Massaro

CYRILL IBRAHIM SPEAKS AT DUTCH PARLIAMENT Pianist Cyrill Ibrahim was invited by the UK Embassy of the Netherlands to speak at the Dutch Parliament in The Hague, the Netherlands. Speaking about Brexit at the Tweede Kamer der Staten-Generaal in February, Cyrill highlighted the Royal College of Music’s long tradition of welcoming talented students from all over the world, who play an essential role in College life. He emphasised that the RCM is taking steps to ensure it remains a culturally diverse institution for generations to come, and continues to welcome worldwide applications for 2017 entry and beyond. Cyrill Ibrahim said: ‘I am delighted that the Dutch Government was willing to listen to many individuals and experts to get a good overview of the possible implications of Brexit for different industries. As the creative sector is very vulnerable, I sincerely hope that in the negotiations the importance of freelance artists is being secured.’




IN MEMORY Philip Cannon studied at the RCM with Gordon Jacob, and joined as a composition professor in 1960, a post which he held until his retirement in 1995. Philip wrote many instrumental, orchestral and choral works. His opera Morvoren was premiered at the College in 1964. In 1975 he was commissioned to write the choral work Son of Man to mark Britain’s entry into Europe, and later by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II to compose a Te Deum for St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. All of his manuscripts are now archived at Oxford’s Bodleian Library. He was appointed FRCM in 1971. Philip died on 24 December 2016.

LEAVING A LEGACY The Royal College of Music would like to thank all those who have remembered the RCM in their will and left a musical legacy for future generations to enjoy. For more information on leaving a legacy to the RCM, please contact Louise Birrell on 020 7591 4743 or

Alan Cumberland was a timpani professor at the RCM from 1970–87, and Principal Timpanist at the London Philharmonic Orchestra from 1968–87. On relocating to Australia in 1987 he became Principal of the Music School and Senior Lecturer in Timpani at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music. In 1998 he moved to Hong Kong where he was Head of Wind, Brass and Percussion as well as Resident Conductor at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, conducting many concerts and opera productions there as well as continuing to teach timpani. The number of his students now in orchestral jobs around the world bears testimony to his qualities as a teacher. In London alone these include John Chimes (recently retired Principal Timpanist of the BBC Symphony Orchestra), Andrew Smith (recently retired Principal Timpanist of the Philharmonia Orchestra), LPO players Andrew Barclay and Simon Carrington as well as former LPO timpanist Russell Jordan (now at the Royal Opera House) and the London Symphony Orchestra’s Nigel Thomas (formerly in the LPO), Neil Percy and Antoine Bedewi and LPO regular guest Jeremy Cornes. Alan was a true lover of music who inspired the same in his students and colleagues. He was a man of great warmth and an icon within the profession who will be missed immeasurably by all those privileged to have known him. Alan died on 7 December 2016.



RCM alumnus Anthony Herschel Hill was born in 1939 in Shropshire. He was pianist, organist, and director of music at St Simon Zelotes Church in London, a teacher at Bishop’s Stortford College in Hertfordshire, and a former RCM Junior Department composition teacher. He composed for piano, organ and choir, including works such as Toccata Eroica, Litany and Ave Verum Corpus. Anthony died on 22 July 2016. RCM alumnus Gervase de Peyer was born in London on 11 April 1926. He was educated at the King Alfred School, Hampstead, and at Bedales where he began to learn the clarinet. He won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music where he studied clarinet with Frederick Thurston, piano with Arthur Alexander and harmony with Ralph Vaughan Williams. After joining the Royal Marines’ Band Service during the Second World War, he worked with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Sir Thomas Beecham and began a successful freelance career. He joined the London Symphony Orchestra under Josef Krips in 1956, and left to settle in New York in 1972. He returned to Britain in 1989, becoming a popular teacher. Gervase died on 3 February 2017. John Sacher CBE was born on 9 June 1940. As a retailer he spent 30 years with Marks & Spencer, including 25 years as a director. John became a Fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1992. He was also a member of the RCM Council and a generous donor. He died on 30 August 2016.

RCM BIG BAND CONCERT In December, jazz trumpet professor Mark Armstrong directed the RCM Big Band in the Britten Theatre. They performed jazz-infused favourites by Gershwin and Bernstein, alongside a new arrangement of Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Photos: Chris Christodoulou



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Upbeat Spring 2017  
Upbeat Spring 2017  

Royal College of Music magazine